Understanding how to do a literature review in research proposal

Understanding how to do a literature review in research proposal can be a difficult thing. When writing a dissertation is can seem as if you have the whole weight of the academic world on your shoulders and feel as if you don’t know where to possibly start with your topic, let alone your question. Therefore, being able to have a concise review of the literature in the field of your dissertation can be extremely helpful to say the least. Of course a literature review can occur in any form of research from an election poll to an economics report but for the sake of clarity this article will focus on a literature review in research proposal for the purpose of a dissertation.

 

Once you have the precise knowledge of the literature for the topic you are writing about you will be certain to be ahead of the game for your field. However, if you don’t fully understand how to write one then this can make your task feel challenging. This article will break down the process of writing a literature review so that you not only understand it completely but can easily write one and ensure that your dissertation is the best piece of work you’ve ever written.

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The first thing that we shall tackle is the introduction of your literature review. How should you introduce it and how will it relate to the rest of your proposal? You must ensure that your introduction is water tight as if it is not then it will harm the entirety of your research proposal and you may be asked to re think it. So, it is vital when writing your literature review introduction to consider these aspect to it.

  • Definition. When writing your introduction, it is important that you define the areas of what you are looking into. For instance, if your dissertation is on the English detective novel then your literature review would be defined by that. This ensures that it is clear the people reading your review know from the very beginning what it is you are proposing to look into.
  • The scope. When writing your introduction and researching your literature review, it is important to understand the scope of your research. This means that, if you’re researching the English detective novel that you are excluding the work of Edgar Allen Poe or Richard Castle as they are American authors. Furthermore, if you are writing a dissertation then you wouldn’t have a premise as vague as “English detective novels” – you would want to be more precise with your topic. If your topic was English detective novels of the 19th century then this makes the scope even tighter and more explicit meaning that the research of literature you want to find is clearer and easier but also that it is more understandable for the reader of your introduction.
  • Exclusions. Once you are sure of your scope you need to think of what to exclude. As discussed above, the scope helps with this but you may also have to do it in regards to relevance. Whilst the English detective novel in the 19th century may be a fine scope for a dissertation it is still a broad and could cause some problems when writing your introduction. Try to make clear of any parts of the 19th century detective novel genre you will excluded – for instance, novels that were written at the end of the century or novels published in England but not by English writers. This will help make clear how focussed your research is and ensure that the person reading the introduction is fully aware of all of the facts.
  • General findings. One of the things that it is important to be clear about when writing your introduction are the general conclusions that you have come to as a result of your research. These will help you particularly when you come to write your dissertation as it will allow you to incorporate findings from your literature review directly into your finished work. They also help with assessing the literature as a whole and demonstrating that your research has be thorough and comprehensive.
  • Availability of sources. The availability of sources is important to mention in your introduction because it indicates not only how large the field of research is but also what exactly is available – it will help you and the reader determine whether there is more material available than you thought or less. This will be vital when writing a dissertation as it allow you to fully comprehend the scale of the field. It will also demonstrate how much work you have done for your literature review and show that you are committed to doing as much for your literature review for your research proposal as possible.

Following on from the introduction is the main body of your literature review. It is important to remember that whilst the introduction is important this is the section of the research proposal that will help demonstrate the viability of your dissertation and fully explain its importance in regard to the field you are working in. When writing the main body of your literature review in research proposal it is important that you carefully analyse the literature you have found for your particular topic so that the person reading your proposal understand that you have a great knowledge of the subject and you can analyse it expertly. When writing the main body of your literature review it is important to consider whether you should present the evidence chronologically or thematically – either should be done precisely to ensure that your analysis of the literature is easy to follow and coherent to the reader. This will mean they will be able to judge whether you have enough evidential support to write your dissertation or whether you need to review the boundaries of your topic.

Once you have written the main body of your literature review, it is time to write your conclusion. The conclusion must be convincing in the summing up of your general analysis of the literature for your topic. You should be aiming to not only recap on your argument but sum up the general findings of your research and justify your research proposal. Your conclusion must therefore carry authority but must also be persuasive. You have to convince the reader that you are able to properly utilise the literature from the field to help support your dissertation and provide the evidential basis for any argument that you may put forward. As such, you cannot fail to be as rigorous with your conclusion as with the rest of your literature review. Indeed, if could be argued that the conclusion is the most important part of the overall review as it will be the final impression that the reader has of your abilities before they go on to read another literature review. Thus, you must make sure that you are at your most convincing and factually accurate.

Once you have completed your literature review in research proposal, it is time to review it. It is imperative that you ensure that there are no grammatical mistakes in your work, that you have not failed to include something important which may help your case or that you have missed out any references that are needed so that the reader can check on the literature you have reviewed. As such, you must check everything as much as humanly possible until you are entirely sure that you have a piece of work you can be proud of.

Hopefully, this article will enable you to write the literature review in research proposal that you need for your project and you will have no difficult with it or your dissertation. However, there may be some element of the article that isn’t entirely clear to you. If that is the case then maybe you should contact us and see how we can help you? We provide services for literature reviews, essays and more. So, contact us and see how we can help you.

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